North

New head of CBC North will be Indigenous, corporation says

The head of CBC North is retiring, and the corporation is determined to hire an Indigenous person to replace her. After nine years leading the national broadcaster in the three territories and northern Quebec, Janice Stein will be leaving on Sept. 25.

Current managing director is retiring after 9 years at the helm of CBC North

CBC is currently looking for a new person to head its operations in the three territories and Nunavik. Current managing director Janice Stein is retiring after nine years in the North and 37 years with CBC. (Hilary Bird/CBC)

The head of CBC North is retiring, and the corporation is determined to hire an Indigenous person to replace her.

After nine years leading the national broadcaster in the three territories and northern Quebec, Janice Stein will be leaving on Sept. 25.

"It's been 37 years [with CBC], I celebrated my 71st birthday a month ago — it's time," said Stein on her decision to retire.

Stein says leading CBC through its transition to a more digital web-based focus is one of her proudest accomplishments.

"We were front of the line, all of our reporters, to get that training to write for the web."

The CBC announced that after Stein departs, the North will once again be considered a separate region instead of being grouped with Saskatchewan and Manitoba as part of a "super-region."

John Bertrand, senior managing director of the prairie and northern region, says it is a significant change.

"Having somebody at the senior leadership table to speak directly to what the North needs and wants and how it needs to be reflected throughout the CBC, to communities that are local, to Canadians all over the country and beyond — I think is a very important and powerful change in the way we're looking at this position," said Bertrand.

Bertrand would not say what the pay range is for the position. With the hiving off of the North from the prairie region, CBC has upgraded the position from managing director of CBC North to senior managing director.

A file photo of Janice Stein, the outgoing managing director of CBC North. She's retiring at the end of September. (CBC)

Indigenous successor

Bertrand said the corporation intends to hire an Indigenous person as Stein's successor.

"One of the great experiences for me about the North ... is the the diversity of the North, the richness of culture, of spirituality, of connection to land, connection to community, connection to language — all of those things," said Bertrand.

"I think that we're looking for somebody that is connected to that, feels a part of that, has experience with that ... our intent is to find an Indigenous leader to bring that viewpoint and that experience to the table."

Two years ago, CBC North hired the first Indigenous managing editor in the corporation, Mervin Brass.

Bertrand said he is confident that focusing on hiring from one segment of the population will not risk excluding the best person for the job.

"I am quite convinced that we will get a wide range of candidates, and I'm absolutely convinced we will have absolutely super Indigenous candidates."

Bertrand said Indigenous people with experience in the North will also be given preference.

The new position will likely be based in Yellowknife, he said. The corporation intends to have the position filled shortly after Stein leaves at the end of the month.

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